Crime & Court

More Alleged Land Scam Cases, Man Claims Being Swindled

Mr Reddy claimed that he paid the money at the Nasinu Land Purchase Cooperative office at Suva Street.
23 Oct 2020 12:19
More Alleged Land Scam Cases, Man Claims Being Swindled
Atish Reddy, 70, a peanut seller from Labasa with the copy of land documents and letter from the Nasinu Land Purchase Cooperative for a piece of land along Ratu Dovi Road in Nepani, Nasinu. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Atish Reddy, 70, of Labasa has lodged a complaint with the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption over an alleged land scam.

Mr Reddy claimed that in 2013 he paid $35,000 to the Nasinu Land Purchase Cooperative for a piece of land along Ratu Dovi Road in Nepani, Nasinu.

He has yet to receive confirmation of the sale to this date.

Mr Reddy claimed that he paid the money at the Nasinu Land Purchase Cooperative office at Suva Street.

He is a peanut seller in Labasa. He said it was in early 2013 when people from the said office came from Suva to Labasa, announcing the sale of land in the area.

Inspired to buy a piece of land in the area, he took loans from family and friends combined with his savings, and paid for the land.

On April 13, 2014, Mr Reddy arrived in Suva with $35,000. He held the money in a plastic bag because he had never carried that much money before.

“I clearly remember the day, I arrived at the Suva Market and gave a taxi driver the address of the Nasinu Land Purchase Cooperative office in Suva Street,” he said.

“I went into the office and met with Bal Govind who was the then chairman and some other staff. I was told that the price was $50,000,” Mr Reddy claimed.

“I said I had only $35,000 in cash and could not afford anymore. They agreed to the price. They took the money, gave me a receipt and a letter.”

Mr Reddy claimed that Mr Govind, and two other staff members, with site maps, took him and showed him where the land was located.

The letter given to Mr Reddy stated that the land was still being developed and once all work was done, he would be given the piece marked Block 14.

Mr Reddy then had to repay the loans he took. He sold peanuts and even cut cane to ensure that all the loans he had taken were cleared.

In 2018, Mr Reddy made another trip to Suva to inquire if he could get his land. He was informed by the current chief executive officer of the Nasinu Land Purchase Cooperative, Satya Narayan, that they had no records of the purchase.

Mr Govind, who Mr Reddy is alleging to have met in 2013, passed away in 2014.

This week Mr Reddy lodged a complaint with FICAC.

The Nasinu Land Purchase Cooperative current chairman, Steven Kumar, and chief executive officer Mr Narayan claimed signatures on the receipt were not Mr Govinds.

They claimed that the man from Labasa had been duped by people who may have been in the office in 2013.

Mr Narayan said they were looking at forwarding the matter to the Police.

Fiji Sun has found that another block in the Nepani area was sold twice, and is now the subject of a legal row.

In a similar deal, a similar letter was given to Nabin Nisha, and she was advised that once development happened the land would be hers. However, after development the land was sold to someone else.

Mr Reddy returned to Labasa today, with no land and no answers to what has happened to the $35,000 he paid. He said he just wants justice to be done.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback: shalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj



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